A friend commented on my experiment not to buy food where I’d have to throw away wrapping after, “Avoiding food packaging” and “Buying no food with packaging, eighteen days and counting.” I started doing it mainly to pollute less. He said “You know, the difference you’ll make on the world is less than a billionth of a percent?”
That’s how he justified whatever behavior he does that pollutes.
I responded, “I care about what I’m responsible for.”
I don’t take responsibility for anyone else’s behavior, nor was I criticizing his. He has his values and he lives by them. I try not to impose my values on others. But I take responsibility for my actions and their results on others. To me, it’s a matter of integrity. I live in a world polluted by billions of people before me and I will leave behind a world affected by me. I don’t like the pollution I was born into and I want to be responsible for as little pollution to others, even after I die.
It turns out the experiment led me to change my behavior more than I expected, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and cooking at home a lot more. The change improved my life a lot. Eating is a big part of life. I can’t believe I waited this long to make this change.
I find holding yourself accountable tends to improve one’s life.